How and Why to Keep an Online Journal: Keeping Track of Your Private Life in Public

For me, keeping a journal of some sort has always been important. I have, however, struggled with finding the time to sit down and keep a journal and I have traditionally lacked the discipline in order to make it work. I am inclined, for several reasons, to keep a journal in digital format, not the least of which is the fact that arthritis makes it difficult for me to grip the pen.

I am also a natural sharer. I like to share my life, my stories and myself with other people. I appreciate getting feedback from others about some of the things that I have experienced and this can also be a good and interesting way to make friends. While I am not currently keeping an online journal (it got deleted in an accident on my server), I am planning on doing so again in the very near future. It is healing for me and soothing as well.

Journaling can be a very fulfilling way to pass the time!
Journaling can be a very fulfilling way to pass the time!

Why Keep a Journal?

Regardless of whether or not you choose to keep a journal online or in a paper copy book, there are several reasons why keeping a journal may be beneficial or attractive to you.

  • Keeping a journal is a way to jot down your daily thoughts that you want to remember.
  • Keeping a journal is good for writers who enjoy stream of consciousness writing.
  • Keeping a journal can help you to work through a problem.
  • Keeping a journal allows you to look back at how far you have come.
  • Keeping a journal leaves a legacy of who you are for those who come after you.

There are many more benefits, each which is as individual as the person who has chosen to keep his or her own journal.

Why Keep a Journal ONLINE?

I prefer to keep my journal online and public. There are those who agree with me and those who disagree with me. Because of the type of closely intimate relationship that I have with my husband, I like to keep my writings available to him, and we both benefit from my keeping a journal online. Here are some of the reasons you might decide to do the same.

  • Keeping a journal (blog) online allows others to offer you feedback about a particular problem, if you allow it.
  • Keeping a journal (blog) online allows you to find others who have common problems or interests.
  • Keeping a journal (blog) online can offer you the opportunity to make some cash from your ramblings (but don't count on it).
  • Keeping a journal (blog) online can give you an additional sense of accomplishment

For me, the best part about keeping an online journal is the fact that I can share with others who are able to actively respond to my postings.

Be careful though! Always keep a backup of your posts lest you lose them!

How to Keep an Online Journal

To begin with, you're going to need somewhere to put your ramblings. You have several options (see to the left) for free hosting for your online journal. Some allow you to monetize your blog and others don't. If you wish to make money, choose Blogger, but bear in mind that a "rambling" blog isn't likely to monetize well!

A few tips for keeping an online journal/blog.

  • Write often. Try for once a day, but if that isn't possible, then once a week.
  • Keep your posts relatively short but try not to edit. You want to be able to return to them and understand what you were trying to say.
  • Allow comments but keep them moderated so that you can remove any comments that are "spam."

When to Write

Write whenever you feel the inclination to do so.

  • Write at three in the morning when you have a brainstorm
  • Write after the fight with your wife
  • Write after a great day at the park with the kids
  • Write when you're in a good mood
  • Write when you're in a bad mood
  • Write any time -- the point is to WRITE.

What about you?

Do you keep a blog?

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Why do you write? 22 comments

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I have 5 blogs and a LiveJournal :)


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

How do you keep up with it?! I'm going to wind up with two, plus Hubpages and Squidoo and I figure I'll lose my mind at some point! Not sure what I'm going to do when school starts!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain

I am following all your hubs as they publish, it is interesting to see inside your life what makes you tick what ticks you off. You write in a style that makes reading easy and enjoyable, I am sorry that I haven't had time to post some comments but you are writing so fast that I am having trouble just keeping up. I look forward to the remainder of the 100 over the next twenty nine days. This page like the others you have posted since the challenge began is excellent both in quality and content good luck with the 100


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you Maggs! I appreciate it! The worry always is that the quality will drop off. Not sure about that, I'm doing a researched hub at the moment, but struggling with word count lol


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I publish to 3 of my blogs regularly and I admit I don't post on LiveJournal all that much.


Narayan 7 years ago

I am also following you, started to write something. Got a feeling that my hub may not be interest to others to read. After reading most of your hub and some others I felt it is better to share on the hub.


Erick Smart 7 years ago

I started to write a blog but then I really started to worry about the fact that whatever goes on the internet stays there. I decided to stay formal with the blog and keep my personal things private.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

I started my self-titled blog because I found writing stuff down sort of made me focus and plan what I was going to do next. Then I found it interested other people too: amazing! I though about being private with it - in fact I never planned on getting as controversial as it has - but at the end of the day I like you pretty much wear my heart on my sleave and I'm open with what I am doing and my feelings. Its also really interesting to go back and see where you were at with your thoughts months earlier - that's why some courses encourge students to keep a learning journal.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Lissie, I didn't find your blog until this challenge started, and therefore I haven't had any time to hang out there exploring. I've read several of your articles on other sites, but not so many on Hubpages. I have no idea why! I think I followed out on your blog.

I find you interesting in so many ways. Sharing in a public manner like that gives people like me a way to experience the thought process of someone who is *doing* what so many of us *wish* we could do.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Hmmm just watch the language on my blog - its a little "unchristian" in places LOL - I had a bunch of people attempt to bully me on my own blog - I got mad, and my friends helped me to get even :-) - it was an interesting experience and now I am a little touchy about the self-appointed guardians of the Internet or HubPages or whatever who like to tell other people what they should and not write with their own electrons :-)


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I don't mind bad language :) I tend not to use it, but that's for each person to decide. Sure, it bugs me when my dad says "goddamn" every other word, but I can handle it :)


lindagoffigan profile image

lindagoffigan 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I think that bullet points should be in term papers and in thesis writing. Writing hubs should not be interrupted with so many dots that could be distracting. I think that more formal writing should use the format that was used. However, the information contained was useful though I find that offline writing to be more personal and gratifying. I have written ten diaries and feel much more connected when using a pen and pencil on paper than a cold keyboard and tapping with my fingers. The hub was good except for the formatting.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks for your opinion, Linda.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Oh I completely disagree linda- bullet points are designed for scanning and that's what people do on the Internet - scan not read in detail!


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you Lissie :) That's why I use them as often as I do. I remember reading that somewhere. Heck, might have been one of your hubs!


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

I disagree with Lindag, too. I think it's important to vary your formatting in a Hub - paragraph after paragraph of prose becomes indigestible. Bullet points have the added advantage of highlighting important points.

I did have a couple of blogs but gave them up. For one thing, I'm fussy about what I reveal online - identity theft is simply too real, and the more you reveal about your personal life, the more you place yourself at risk. For another, I simply can't commit to posting often enough.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you, Marisa!

I'm a sharer. I guess it's just in my nature. But I agree that it can be difficult to keep up. I think that it's different when you're sharing *ideas* rather than *events* in your life though :)


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

Ah yes, that's a point I meant to make. Lissie's blog is all about sharing ideas and her journey in one specific area of her life. That's fine and I can see it's a way of keeping her commitment to the project.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

A niche blog, if you will :)

I like to journal, too, but I honestly can't find the time for it and when I'm blogging I find myself fictionalizing events that "could have" happened more than I tell my real life stories lol

This, mostly, because I have a tendency towards erotic writing when I let myself wander.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Yes good points Marisa you won't find the name of my partner, my other relatives or my street address anywhere online. I frequently change my birthdate just a little as that's a key piece of identity information. My photos are me - but you would be hardpressed to identify me from them if you know what I mean - a smile makes the photo useless as ID for example :-)


eat2live profile image

eat2live 7 years ago from Japan

Everyday miracles, I like your writing. How did you get such a high hub score in only 5 weeks of being in Hub?


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

eat2live: I'm very active in the community, on the forums, etc :)

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